Preservation and Processing


The following manual may be used as a reference tool in order to maintain consistent procedures in Preservation & Processing. The procedures herein have been approved by the Preservation & Processing Manager and any significant deviation from these procedures should be approved by same.

Handling materials carefully - general guidelines.

The care with which a book or media item is handled by patrons and library staff members directly affects its longevity; proper handling and storage can prolong the life of a library's collection.

1. Appropriate shelving for items of ordinary size:

  • Smooth, solid shelves; no jagged edges or protruding screws
  • All items upright, resting on their base
  • Bookends for shelves that are not full
  • Full shelves that are not too loosely or too tightly packed
  • All books on shelves that are a minimum of 4" above the floor

2. Appropriate shelving for oversize books:

  • Broad fixed shelves
  • All books flat, if possible, with no more than three or four volumes on top of each other
  • No protrusion of books into aisles

3. Appropriate removal of books:

  • Ease books on either side of the desired volume further back on the shelf
  • Grasp exposed book by the sides with the whole hand
  • Readjust the bookend

4. Appropriate replacement of books:

  • Loosen bookend
  • Move books on shelf to create a space
  • Reinsert book in the space
  • Readjust the bookend

5. Transport of books:

- Use a book truck that is easily maneuverable and has wide shelves or protective rails to secure the items in transit

- Load the book truck so that

  • books are upright
  •  books are not protruding beyond the edges of the truck
  • the center of gravity on the loaded truck is low
  • partially filled rows are supported by bookends

6. General handling of books:

  • Keep hands clean
  • Avoid food, drink, or smoking materials in close proximity of books
  • Support covers when book is open
  • Avoid forcing books to open further than they open easily
  • Avoid the use of paper clips in the text

7. General handling of DVDs and CDs:

  • Avoid touching playing surfaces
  • Handle discs by the outer edge or the center hole.
  • Return discs to storage cases immediately after use.
  • Keep dirt or other matter from the disc.
  • Remove dirt, fingerprints, smudges and liquids by wiping with a clean, dry, cotton cloth in a straight line from the center of the disc toward the outer edge.

Damage to books and media is cumulative. Repeated poor handling can quickly transform a new book into a worn book, and a worn book into an unusable book that requires costly repair or replacement. Proper use of books by each individual prolongs the life of a library's entire collection.


P&P processes new materials after they are cataloged and bar-coded. The importance of accuracy in this processing cannot be overstated. Because it is important that the book is physically appealing, all book plates should be evenly placed on the page and all stamps should be straight and located so they are aesthetically pleasing. Most importantly, all spine labels must be exactly correct. If a spine label is even a little bit wrong, a book could be misshelved and lost for decades. Literally. Therefore always pay close attention to the details and don't "zone out" when processing new materials.

Starting the process

Pick up the blue cart of cataloged items from the designated spot in LIB133 daily or as needed. Only the top two shelves of the cart are routinely used. It's polite to replace the cart with an empty one for the convenience of the technical services staff.

"Edit" the cart and set aside all items that should receive physical treatment. (Refer to the "New Materials to be Treated" list for details.)  If there's room on the cart, add items from the "to be labeled" shelves near LIB135C.  Once the cart has been edited and items have been added to it, tape a slip of scrap paper to the cart with the date written on it.  All carts should be processed in chronological order so that the "first in" is the "first out".

New Materials to be Treated

Anything with a blue P+P/bindery slip

Faculty Author Collection  (All books, hardcover books with dust jackets so jacket can be attached, and paperback books too.)

Paperback Books-

All N class


Vermont Collection (unless otherwise noted)

Any paperback book that is very large, very small, or very flimsy.


Media formats that need additional packaging.  (Loose CDs or disks, videos without exterior case, etc.)

Producing labels

Note: ask supervisor for computer log-in and password.  When the computer starts a program called "Print Wizard" will automatically open and run in its own window.  Do not close this window.  If you do, the program will stop running and you won't be able to print labels.

  • Turn the printer on.
  • Turn the tape reel take up tower on.
  • Open the Millennium Client, (also known as III or “triple eye”), by clicking once on the icon on the “quick launch” toolbar. (ask supervisor for username and password)  When III opens the “Index” pull down menu will be highlighted. Type “B” for barcode. The Index will change to “barcode” and the cursor will tab to the empty box to the right.
  • Scan the barcode on the piece that you need a label for. The item record will open in a new window. Hit the F11 key. A new window “Modify Monographic Labels” will open in which you can, (you guessed it!), modify the label.  Here you may reformat the lines to match standard format but you may not change the content of the call number. Campare the cutter line written in the item to the cutter line shown on the screen.  If the content of the call number does not match that written in the item, cancel the printing, write a brief note describing the problem, and set the item aside to be reviewed by your supervisor. When the label is formatted correctly hit F12 to print the label.   For Browsing Media items you need to rekey the entire call number in order to replace the line "shelved by title...".    Note: if this is the first label of the session, an extra window will open and you’ll need to select the printer “Workstation Jefdirect”.

To use the shortcut keys to add the prefix, click in the yellow area of the “modify Monographic labels” window, then use the shortcuts in combination with the shift key.

For Browsing Media items: use the shortcut alt + F12 to print two labels (one for the case, one for the filing sleeve)

Repeat step b. until you’ve produced all the labels you need.

Applying labels and marking items

Mark the items, taking them from the cart in the order of the strip of labels.  All loose parts in pockets of cases should be marked for ownership.  See separate instructions for marking media items.

Faculty Author Collection: if hardcover with dust jacket, the dust jacket is lined with Mylar and permanently attached to the book then label and barcode attached to jacket.   Do not heat the spine label onto the book.

Refer to separate section of the manual for details on how to process items that are kept in offices like the Scott Center, the Career Services Office, etc.

See separate secton in this manual for details on processing media items.

  1. place the appropriate book plate inside the front cover, centered and even. (Some books may already have a gift book plate and some may have one slipped into a page for you to insert.)  Books for the Davison Library, Music Library, and Armstrong Library have different book plates.   All other books get the Davis Family Library book plate unless the plate would obscure important information (maps, tables, etc.) and then the plate may be placed on the first page or omitted.
  2. stamp the title page neatly with the large Middlebury College Library stamp.
  3. place a security strip in each book according to instructions.
  4. proofread the spine label against the call number in the book to be sure you are putting the correct label on the book and that the prefix, if any, is accurate. Using the jig place the spine label on the spine. The top of the label should be 2.5 inches from the bottom of the spine EXCEPT ON THOSE REFERENCE BOOKS WHERE IT WOULD OBSCURE IMPORTANT INFORMATION (like volume or year designations). The entire label must be clearly legible. If the label will not fit on the spine of the book, place it on the front cover at the same level, and 1/4 inch in from the spine edge.  For Browsing Books, place the spine label at the very bottom of the spine.
  5. stamp edges with the small Middlebury College Library stamp so it can be read when the book is laying face up on a table.

Distributing processed items

Distribute items to appropriate locations: Armstrong Library and Music Library books are placed in bins in the loading dock.   Make sure to protect fragile media cases in transit by placing rubber bands around multiple items to make a solid group.  Ask your supervisor for a key to the loading dock door.

Ask your supervisor about clumps of materials going to non-library places like the Scott Center or CSO.

All other library books remain on the cart and go to the Circulation Desk.

Media labeling and marking

A “Selin” label is the kind that goes on books and is produced on the Okidata Printer.  A “P-touch” label is the kind that goes on some media and is produced on the P-touch printer.  A completed sample for each category of processing is near the processing work station so please refer to those as needed. If media is inside a protective case, then the exterior case should get the spine label, not the interior one.


DVD Collection Reprocessing project, starting May 2011:

Almost the entire DVD collection is being completely cataloged, repackaged into locking cases, and reprocessed.  The following is a draft outline of procedures for that project.(JW 5/9)

General info: 

  • When there is an accompanying insert the barcode should be attached to the insert.  If not insert, then the barcode should be placed on the inside of the case to the top-right of the DVD.  (last DVD in the case if there are multiple.) 
  • If the case has a cardboard cover instead of a sleeve inside a plastic cover, then we will create a sleeve for the new case by photocopying the cardboard case.  Sometimes we will also create an insert by photocopying the interior cover of the cardboard case.  Basically, the goal is to retain attractive graphics for the exterior and to retain any important information from the interior.

Beginning with the existing "browsing" collection:

Retrieve a cart of DVDs from the shelves, starting with A and working to Z, and bring it to LIB135. Remove any cardboard cases and place on a separate cart to be photocopied.

Select a new locking case and move the sleeve to the new case.  If there is an accompanying insert with a barcode attached, simply move the insert to the new case and discard the old case.  If there's a barcode attached to the old case, then reissue the barcode by

  1. scanning in the old barcode,
  2. hightlighting the old barcode number in the record,
  3. attaching the new barcode to the insert (if there is one) or to the new case if there isn't an insert,
  4. scanning the new barcode so that number replaces the old on in the record,
  5. saving the record

Update the item record in Millennium--

  • Scan the barcode and edit the record to delete the "shelved by title..." call number by right clicking on the call number field in the record and selecting "delete field"

Produce labels for the new cases--

DVDs in classes PN 1992.77, PN 1997, and PN 1997.2 will get a full Selin label on the FRONT cover and an abbreviated p-touch label on the spine with a color overlay.  All other classes will get the full Selin label on the spine. See chart for correct color.

  • Produce a label for the new case.  Produce the Selin label in Millennium first, then as needed create the abbreviated p-touch label and apply the appropriate overlay color.
  • Apply a 3-DAY LOAN sticker to the paper sleeve on the very top of the spine (covering a letter sticker if there is one) and attach a security strip to the back of the insert at the spine.

To convert a cardboard covered case to an insert--

Photocopy the case on the color photocopier at 95% and then trim to size.

For Media Collection:
  • Do not apply security overlay
  • P-touch label (top of label should be 5” from bottom of case)
For Browsing:
  • Do not apply security overlay
  • Selin label placed on front (like front cover of a book). Prefix is “Browsing Media” on two lines.
  • Apply second label, without prefix, at top left corner of a disk sleeve, one for each DVD in case (to be shelved separately later, just leave empty sleeve inside DVD case)
  • Apply small letter label at top of spine for title order
  • Write “Middlebury College Library” around center hub (if not already done)
  • Ownership stamp or sticker on front and back of paper jacket
  • Apply “3 DAY LOAN” sticker to the very bottom of the paper insert on the spine. If cardboard case, cover sticker with clear label protector.
For Stacks (when accompanying a book and not otherwise designated)
  • Place either in a pocket in the book, or inside a DVD case. Paper and cardboard cases can be placed inside extra clear plastic case.
  • Apply security overlay per instructions seen at back of manual.
  • Apply Selin label to case or clear case as if a book.
  • Write “Middlebury College Library” around center hub (if not already done)
  • Apply Ownership stamp or sticker to front and back of DVD case itself.
For Music Library
  • Apply security strip to the inside of the paper insert. If no insert, place security strip discretely on cardboard case if possible. Do not apply security overlay to DVD
  • Apply Selin label as if a book except place it on the paper insert at the very bottom of the spine and it’s OK for the year portion of the call number to wrap around onto the front cover. Put it on the plastic or paper cover if there’s no insert but be careful not to melt the plastic. Prefix is “MusLib DVD” on two lines.
  • Write “Middlebury Music Library” around center hub (if not already done)
  • Apply Ownership stamp or sticker to front and back of DVD case itself.

Audio CD and CD-ROMs:

For stacks by default: (all loose parts should be marked for ownership)

  • Apply security overlay per instructions
  • If accompanying a hardcover book, place in pocket at back. Some paperback books may be bound and CD put in a pocket at back.
  • If single CD on it’s own, place in jewel case and then put jewel case in a pamphlet binder slipcase. Slipcase should get a spine label.
  • If multiple CDs in a case and if case is substantial, simply process it like a book for the stacks. If case is flimsy or broken, put audio CDs in a new album case or CD-ROMs in multiple disk jewel case. Request spine title from supervisor.

If designated for Media Collection: no exterior case, label jewel case with Selin label.


For media collection by default

  • Put cassette in plastic case
  • P-touch label on spine

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